FLOWING WAVES… Regenerate historic site in Belgrade

Marking the “continuance of Belgrade’s Signature ‘Modemist’ movement”, which produced a number of iconic buildings throughout the mid•twentieth century, the Serbian capital is proud to unveil Zaha Hadd Architect’s (ZHA) contemporary masterplan for Beko. This all-inclusive, mixed-use project embeds itself within the undulating topography of the abandoned BekO textile factory in a style that directly reflects Zaha’s distinct style Of Parametricism.

Focused on urban regeneration, the project will join forces with Sou Fujimoto’s proposed ‘Cloud’ on the adjoining Sava waterfront to revitalize Belgrade’s cultural axis ZHA’S Beko Masterplan aims to transform the currently inaccessible site into next cultural hub. With the entire ground floor dedicated to civic space, the 94,000 square meter complex will feature residential, retail, and commercial areas, along with a large-scale convention center, five-star boutique hotel, and an abundance of public destinations. Public, private, indoor, and outdoor spaces are fused together by “flow lines”, as each space is meant to seamlessly connect to one another.

The historic site, which was purchased at a public auction by the Greek company Lamda Development in 2007 for EUR 55.8 million, features striking views towards the confluence of Belgrade’s two rivers and the subtle monumentality of the Kalemegdan Castle. It is located only 500 meters away from the city center and on top of a Cultural axis that connects some of Belgrade’s most important destinations. Construction is expected to begin soon and the total investment is projected to exceed EUR 200 million.

Zaha Hadid: “We are delighted to be working on the design for BEKO. The project focuses on the urban regeneration of an important site at the intersection of key cultural artifacts. The master plan follows the region’s strong modernist traditions and has applied new concepts and methods that examine and organize the programs of the site, defining a composition of buildings with the elegance of coherence that addresses the complexity of 21st century living patterns. The design for BEKO is embedded within the surrounding landscape of Belgrade’s cultural axis and incorporates essential public spaces. It is absolutely critical to invest in these public spaces that engage with the city. They are a vital component of a rich urban life and cityscape, uniting the city and tying the urban fabric together.